DL stashes: Are they worth holding onto?

The DL stash.  Whether it’s someone that was on your team that went down or someone you picked up off waivers to hide away for a future date, we have all had guys like this on our roster.  Some of these players can come back strong and reward you for your patience and dedication.  Other times, possibly due to the type of injury they had, the player comes back only as half the man you expected making you wonder why you held them for this long.  You also have some owners that put someone on the DL regardless of their name and chances for the future, and then just forgets about them.  Those players sit there for months and when you look at their roster, you scratch your head wondering why Tyler Chatwood is rotting away on their DL.

I love DL stashes, and many a times I’ve grabbed injured players off waivers to stash for the future.  The trick is evaluating those players and asking yourself “Are they worth holding?”.  Today I’ll look at a number of lesser owned players on the DL and see if you should continue to hold them or if you should just dump them.  Note that this advice is for those of you in redraft leagues.  Keeper leagues, use your best judgment based upon your league settings, number of players you keep and teams in the league.  If you’re unsure if a player is keeper worthy for your leagues, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

Michael Cuddyer The Rockies are keeping their fingers crossed an MRI scheduled for July 21st comes back clean.  If it is Cuddyer could be back sometime in August, if not it’s a long shot he’ll be of any use this year (at least in fantasy).  Even if Cuddyer does come back; with a bum left shoulder, he’s still going to have problems at the plate.  His power will be sapped, any irritation or discomfort could cause him to alter things at the plate (which usually don’t work out for the better) and his follow through on his swings will be affected.  Plus with 3 good options already in place, I can see days off for Cuddyer to keep him fresh.  Is it worth holding onto Cuddyer?  Not in 10 & 12 team leagues, and more than likely you can let him go in 14 team leagues as well.  NL only and leagues with 16 or more teams can hold him, but don’t get your hopes up.

Wil Myers:  Fortunately it was only a stress fracture in his wrist and did not require surgery.  Unfortunately it was a wrist injury, and those can play hell even for the most experienced major league player.  That August date is tentative to all test coming back positive and no setbacks once rehab begins.  That would means Myers could be available for two months, less than that if there are complications.  Before the injury, Myers was batting .227 with 5 home runs in just under 200 at bats.  sophomore slump, overhyped, not ready for the bigs, take your pick on why Myers has done so bad so far this season.  If this were a hamstring or anything related to the lower body I would saying holding Myers is a smart move with his upside.  We’re dealing with a wrist issue here which affects not just power but little ol’ singles too.  I love Myers as much as the next guy, but I don’t see him being of any use in fantasy this year.  Just like Cuddyer, AL only and leagues with 16 or more teams can hold him.  Everyone else can move on.

A.J. Pollock We’ve had a shoulder injury and a wrist injury, might as well continue down the arm.  Pollock suffered a broken hand after being struck by a Johnny Cueto fastball and will be out to mid or late August.  That means if/when Pollock returns, it will be crunch time as most leagues start their playoffs right around then.  A broken hand is a little better than the wrist as it slightly affect his grip rather than his swing.  It might sap a little of his power, but it’s not like he had a ton of that anyway.  Pollock was more of an average/speed guy, and you don’t need your hands to run the bases.  For this reason, Pollock has a chance to be useful for the final months, but don’t expect him to be your savior.  Continue to hold Pollock in 12 team leagues or deeper, but if you have too many injuries and need the room don’t fret over dropping him.

Jedd Gyorko Plantar Fasciitis is a tricky thing, just ask Albert Pujols.  There is no real cure for it other than rest; with the walking boot now removed, it appears Gyorko is done resting.  Hopefully he had time to clear his head while he was out, because the guy we saw batting .162 needed some mental rest as well.  Last season Gyorko hit .249 with 23 home runs and fantasy owners were hoping for a step forward (or at worst a repeat performance).  There is definite power here, something that is lacking this year at second base.  Because of this Gyorko is a great player to stash if he’s available, even in 10 team leagues if you have a deep enough bench.  Keep an eye on him when the rehab games start.  If he looks good you might have a sneaky play for your stretch run.  If he looks like the guy we saw the first few month, all you wasted was a DL slot.

Angel Pagan: His ownership is going down in CBS and is almost at 50% in Yahoo.  Pagan isn’t someone you should be dropping, he should be tucked away with an “in case of emergency, break glass” sign on him.  When healthy and in the lineup Pagan is a 3 category players, scoring runs, stealing bases and hitting for average.  Those in 10 team leagues may not see this as much, and 12 team leagues that only use 3 outfielders probably look the other way.  The rest of the leagues see his value (at least the ones he’s not being dropped in).  Pagan makes a great 4th outfielder and even a 3rd outfielder in deeper leagues.  If he’s available in your league, pick him up and tuck him away for a rainy day.  For those that own him, Don’t drop him.  If you don’t want him anymore, I’m sure someone in your league does.

Shane Victorino: surprisingly available in over 50% of Yahoo leagues and 36% of leagues in CBS.  Victorino is the Rodney Dangerfield of outfielders, he gets no respect.  Double digit power and 19 stolen bases a year dating back to 2007 and owners still aren’t happy.  He has the ability to score 80+ runs and owners still want more.  Stolen bases, runs, a dozen homers and some RBI and yet you complain about his average.  What do you guys want, Blood!  I know, I’m supposed to be telling you how Victorino is a good DL stash, but I have to rant when I see someone who can do so much for your fantasy team being release and wasting away on waivers.  Granted he wasn’t off to the best start, but his track record deserves a little more respect than a kick in the pants to the waiver wire pile.  The bad news is he suffered a setback while rehabbing so you’ll have to wait until the end of the month; the good news is this gives his hamstring extra time to heal.  10 team leagues that use only 3 outfielders, use your best judgment.  Everyone else, either hold onto him or go pick him up.

Everth Cabrera: You draft him hoping he could deliver a good average, a high stolen base total and a ton of runs.  All you got was a .218 average, 13 stolen bases and a strained hamstring.  Currently the 50% of teams holding Cabrera are hoping for……for…., well, I’m not sure what they are hoping for.  Cabrera is a failed project, at least as far as this year is concerned.  If he can’t hit for average and he can’t draw walks, you’re not getting much (if any) help in the runs department.  So are those 13 stolen bases in over 300 at bats worth it?  I know shortstop is thin, but you can do better.  Leagues with 10-14 teams can drop Cabrera, even those that use a MI slot.  16 team leagues that don’t use a MI slot can drop him as well, and those that do use a middle infielder, my condolences if this is your best option.  Right now Cabrera should be an NL only hold option, and even then I question his value.  Maybe next year.

James Paxton We got a taste of Paxton at the end of last year and thought we had a nice sleeper on our hands coming into the season.  2 games in Paxton went down with shoulder issues.  3 months later Paxton is close to a rehab assignment.  Owners that were wise to hold him could soon be rewarded as this one is easily a stash candidate.  Fortunately for some of you, you may be able to get in on the fun as Paxton is still available in 40% of CBS and 80% of Yahoo leagues.  If you’re looking for a pitcher that can make a difference for the stretch run, snatch and stash him now (and that for all leagues).  The only thing that stands in his way is Roenis Elias, and with his recent struggles he could open the door for Paxton upon his return.

Michael Pineda: Given the state of the Yankees rotation and an impending return in August, Pineda is a definite hold.  He had 3 strong games before going down with shoulder inflammation.  With the rest he’s received while on the DL, owners are not going to have to worry about an innings cap like they were in April.  He’s tentatively scheduled to return in mid-August.  That would put him coming back right before fantasy playoffs begin.  Considering his availability right now, those teams that are headed to (or might be heading to) the playoffs should look on waivers and see if he’s available.  If so, stash away and keep your fingers crossed he can make it through 6 weeks of baseball.

Michael BournAt one point, Bourn would have made a hold candidate just for his speed.  There still may be something left in the tank, but his tires are flat this year.  Broun is out with a hamstring strain which is why he missed time earlier this year and it’s the same leg he had surgery on last year.  If Bourn can’t run he has little to no fantasy value.  The only leagues that should be stashing him on the DL are AL only and leagues with more than 16 teams.  The stats he’s delivered so far this season and last year are replacement level numbers, go find a replacement.

Josh Reddick:  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Reddick showed us in 2012 he can hit for power.  He hasn’t come close to duplicating that power and one has to wonder if it was just a fluke season.  There are skeptics on both sides of the fence and arguments for and against what Reddick is capable of.  I don’t think he’ll amount to much, but I’m not going to tell you to drop him.  He has enough power to make a difference in 12 team leagues or deeper so if you’re a Reddick owner you might as well hold him.  If he’s available on waivers, I can’t recommend stashing him, but if you’re a believer in Reddick feel free to make the move.  I think you can do better.

Justin Masterson In April I said it was rust, in May I was still convinced he could turn things around.  It’s now July and I am out of excuses for Masterson.  The Indians put him on the DL with a knee injury and it wouldn’t surprise me if they just made it up, told him to go clear his head and remember to limp for the cameras.  Masterson looks lost, and I don’t see any improvements on the horizon.  Sure, he may have a few lights out games left in him, but are you really going to risk running him out there to find out?  If you own him in a 10 or 12 team league and have him on the DL, just dump him.  Replacements are on the way weekly from your friendly neighborhood minor league system.  I think 14 team leagues can but bait as well.  Anything deeper than that, well, use your best judgment based upon what’s on waivers.

Why are these guys still on rosters?  Seriously, WHY?

Jim Henderson is owned in 11% of CBS and 28% of Yahoo leagues.  There’s a whole list of people listed above more deserving of a DL stash, go get one and drop Henderson.

Jurickson Profar Conceded that there is a chance he’ll miss the rest of the season.  Straight from the horse’s mouth; those of you that were holding out hope, move along now.

C.C. Sabathia gave fantasy owners their independence on the 4th by saying he’ll need knee surgery, yet he is still owned in almost 40% of Yahoo leagues and over 40% on CBS.  Man you guys are loyal (or preparing for football).

Matt Wieters is still owned in 35% of Yahoo and CBS leagues.  I highly doubt these are ALL keeper leagues, dump the dead weight already.

Ivan Nova: Seriously, people still own him (and need to find a new fantasy sport to play).

Matt Moore had Tommy John Surgery in April, guess the 24% of his owners didn’t get the memo.

For those of you in keeper Leagues

Matt Harvey & Jose Fernandez Yup, Harvey won’t be back until spring training and Fernandez won’t be back until July at the earliest.  If you’re in a redraft leagues, there is zero reason to have either of these players on your roster.  If you are in a keeper league, even if you only keep 2-3 players, these men should NOT be on waivers.  I know you’re probably thinking “why should I hold either one of them if I’m not going to keep em?”.  The answer is simple, so your opponent doesn’t keep them.  As long as they are on your roster you will have a guaranteed shot at both men next season. 

If you let that last place team with the aging keepers scoop them up they could become prime keeper material.  Not only that, you tend to monitor players on your team more closely than you do those on waivers or on other teams.  Some owners have an out of sight, out of mind mentality and will forget or overlook guys like this if they are not staring back at them from the bench.  That’s a little less focus on your potential draft targets.  If you’re in any kind of keeper league, hold both men (or grab them if they are foolishly on waivers).
The same goes for Prince Fielder, but with his track record it’s doubtful he’s on waivers.

*****

With all the injuries that have happened (and continue to happen) so far this year, that DL spot is a prime piece of real-estate.  It’s just as valuable as any one of your bench spots so don’t treat it like a dumping ground for just anyone.  Time for you to check your disable list and see if you have any dead weight sitting there.  If so, it’s time to take out the trash and maybe find someone new to hold onto, someone with some value.

Jim Finch

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The self proclaimed Grand High Exhausted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball. While I am not related to Jennie or Sidd Finch, I will attempt to uphold the integrity of the Finch family name as it relates to baseball.

4 thoughts on “DL stashes: Are they worth holding onto?”

  1. Regarding those players that are still owned on rosters, I’ve got to think people are abandoning their teams, unless they’re in keeper leagues, and even so those percentages would seem a bit much.

    As for the stashes, yeah, not much to like there, maybe Pagan or Paxton, and you’re holding your breath seemingly with every game they play. In a 10-team league, I had Andrew Cashner in my DL slot, but chose to drop him when Edwin Encarnacion went down for me. Cash already has two stints on the disabled list this year, and even when he’s pitched, he’s still saddled with being a member of a San Diego Padres team that can’t score and thus limits his upside.

    1. 10 team leagues are somewhat different in the fact that there is so much talent available on the waiver wire due to the limited rosters. In these leagues, only the best players should be held with one or two exceptions.
      As for Cashner, he can be a tough hold for 10 team leagues. If you don’t have the room I can see dropping him since he only resumed throwing off flat ground recently. Despite being a member of the Padres where wins are harder to come by, I would still keep an eye on him and grab him back up when he is close to a rehab assignment. Jesse Hahn and Odrisamer Despaigne are two other Padres pitchers I would also recommend, especially in leagues that have moved away from wins to quality starts. For 10 team leagues both of these players can be considered streaming options, but for 12 team leagues they make a nice addition to the back end of your rotation.

    1. This one tugs at my heart strings as I’ve been a Votto owner and supporter for years. Cron deserves to be owned, there is no questioning that.

      As for Votto, 10 team leagues can probably let him go, I’ve seen equivalent players dropped to Votto in these leagues. Leagues with 12 teams or more, while I can’t recommend dropping Votto, I can not fault anyone for doing so this year. The Reds stated while he was on the DL last time that Votto is not going to be 100% this season. If he does get close to 100%, with the diminished power, speed and RBI production hitting second/third, you’re looking at production equal to or lesser than Adrian Gonzalez.

      He still may have some name value to someone in your league so I would try trading him straight up or packaging him with another player for an upgrade someplace else before dumping him (just don’t expect 2nd/3rd round value for him, be realistic). Until then, I would find the lowest ranked hitter or pitcher you own and pick up Cron to tie you over. If after a week or so you can’t trade Votto, do what you have to do.

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